Are Verticals Important When Shooting Real Estate Drone Shots?

February 21st, 2018

Dave in California asked:

Are the verticals on drone images suppose to be the same as the verticals taken at ground level. That is, how important is it to keep verticals vertical as in other areas of real estate photography?

My take on this question is that if the drone image (still) is being used as the primary front exterior shot then all the same real estate photography rules apply – don’t have wonky verticals that distract viewers attention; but if drone still images are used in other than the primary exterior image and it’s not a big deal to have wonky verticals. That said, look at Grant Johnston’s drone  moves that he demonstrates in his drone training video above. Almost all of the verticals are dead on!

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4 Responses to “Are Verticals Important When Shooting Real Estate Drone Shots?”

  • 87So, if I were able to levitate to 50′ off the ground and shoot with my dslr, I would be expected to correct the verticals, yet if I shoot it with a drone……
    Boil it down, the equipment used should not decide whether you should or should not use correction. Do you think that if the drone is below 20 ft that correction should be made, but anything over is ok?
    Bottom line… I don’t think you should be given a pass because of the equipment used to capture the image. If a correction could be made, then…why not?

    This is assuming you are just using stills, video…well that is another matter (although it would be nice to correct)

  • I think that really depends on your elevation. At very low altitude, verticals should indeed be as parallel as possible. But, reality is that the higher your altitude, the more of a reverse keystone effect you’ll have. Keeping your horizon absolutely level, helps makes such shots look acceptable in my opinion.

  • I find that when shooting stills from a drone (actually more correctly sUAVs) I cannot make a rule about elevation since so many properties I shoot are on hill sides and the house is higher than the ground elevation under my craft. So my judgement in post is more based on the angle above a horizontal line from my camera to the front door.

    Part of my coverage, especially for hillside houses and two story houses are front and back views just higher than my tripod will achieve. This helps lessen the importance of the foreground which is often a driveway. So for these I will always correct the vertical. But many shots are taken from a much higher angle and some looking straight down to capture the plot layout. So there comes a point where correcting the vertices from the higher angles makes as much sense visually as correcting verticals when you shoot down a staircase.

    So other than those “looking the house in the eye” angles there is no rule to go by, just visual judgement on what actually looks best and most comfortable.

    With video, of course, you can’t correct. But you can selectively choose the angle and height to achieve the least distorted image. But frankly with video the craft is usually moving and the view and angle is always changing so these issues are less noticable.

  • At house level of course verticals are important Tilt and roll or what ever you want to call them. anything above house level you need to tilt down or the property won’t be in frame. But, you can certainly level for roll. and for this the horizon is usually the best reference.

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